BOXING is getting along just fine without Floyd Mayweather Jnr (50-0, 27 stoppages), but the former pound-for-pound number one seems to be struggling without the ego-boosting elixir of the sport, not to mention the fact he could routinely use it to summon up multi-million dollar purses in order to keep his lavish lifestyle afloat.
Since retiring with a 10th-round stoppage win over debutant — yes, it still and will always sound weird — Conor McGregor in August of last year, “Money” has placed a number of photos on his social media channels to show the world what a great time he is having. He has been pictured on holiday, alone, on a luxury yacht, alone once again, and in the cavernous confines of his Las Vegas mansion, where he seemed as home alone as Kevin McCallister.
Still, Mayweather continues to insist that he is loving life in the slow lane and it has been reported that, to use the parlance of our times, he ‘made it rain’ in a strip club after producing $50,000 and throwing it at the working women of Scores in New Jersey.
This time, though, he had a few friends in tow and the 41-year-old treated them to a meal topped with a $5,000 dollar bottle of Louis XIII cognac. The teetotaller did not partake, he has maintained his incredible discipline post-boxing, but he made sure that his team members had a great, if hazy, night to not recollect.
The trickledown effect of the economy was also on show after Jack Rathbone of the Mirror reported that the cleaning team at Scores benefited from Mayweather’s excesses after finding notes in the ceiling fan and on the seats of the booths while cleaning up the next morning.
Mayweather insists that he has no intention of returning to the ring; his accountant may have other ideas a few years down the line if he continues to spend at such an amazing rate.
Speaking of possible returns to the sport, Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs) posted a video of a sparring session on Facebook before looking into the camera and declaring: “I can’t stop it, I don’t want to stop it. It’s a habit and I love it”.
The 42-year-old still looks in impressive shape yet he went out on the back of back-to-back losses to Tyson Fury (L12) and Anthony Joshua (L RSF 11), and he is at risk of becoming a cliché of the ‘One last win and I’m out’ washed up former fighter. That would be truly a bittersweet ending for an intelligent man who did not trot out clichés throughout his career, he was kind enough to leave that type of thing to us writers.
Sure, the Ukrainian would be favoured against most current heavies, but the phantom of a defeat against a lesser light while chasing one last W would linger over any comeback bid. Hopefully, he is taking a tip from the Lennox Lewis ‘I’m bored, I’ll tease a return to fighting’ book of social media posts.
The Mirror may have smashed home an exclusive story and highlighted a worrying trend in boxing’s training regime by sharing an image of Alexander Povetkin looking ‘red-faced and bruised’ following a sparring session with Daniel Dubois. The ‘boxers get hit in sparring and are quite tired after it’ angle was replete with a telling headline that declared: ‘Alexander Povetkin looks marked up after Daniel Dubois sparring session ahead of Anthony Joshua fight’.
The 38-year-old Russian does indeed look red around the face, and he also is a little marked up, yet the idea that the photo somehow shows that he is being battered from pillar to post by Dubois has one crucial drawback: his team decided to share it online so they either played themselves or, get this, he has had some tough rounds to prepare for a huge night at Wembley Stadium later this month.
Kristian Laight will not have a statue built in his honour after retiring with a 12-279-9 (0) record yet the names on 38-year-old journeyman’s slate are a monument to the men who lose time after time against the home fighter and stick with the sport long after their dreams, hopes, and title aspirations have died.
Laight hit the 300 mark with a defeat against Luke Beasley on July 28. He was only stopped five times despite facing some fearsome hitters, and Steve Bunce of the Independent totted up the numbers and discovered that Laight fought 68 debutants.
The Nuneaton-based boxer may not be remembered in the annals of history yet it is likely that all 68 of those opponents, some of whom went to various title levels, will vividly recall their first night of paid boxing. For “Mr. Reliable”, however, they were all just one of many nights at the office.
Finally, and tragically, the partner of Sheffield’s Herol “Bomber” Graham died at the weekend. Karen Neville had stage-three bladder cancer and lost her fight against it in the early hours of Saturday. Graham took to Twitter to pay tribute to her, writing: ‘Karen lost her fight to cancer in the early hours of this morning. Please could I ask people to give us space and respect our wishes’.
The former British and EBU light-middleweight and middleweight champion and three-time world title challenger has been battling mental health issues after being committed to a mental hospital earlier this year. Boxing News’ Ian Probert has constantly highlighted the pair’s struggles and he also led the tributes after Graham Tweeted the sad news.
A Go Fund Me page was set up earlier this year to help with Karen’s treatment and had reached £19,382 as of this morning to prove that there are still some kind hearts lurking out there — although the fact that Mayweather threw away almost twice as much money in another show of ostentatious cheapness is utterly dispiriting to most rational minds.
Few things hit home as hard as the death of a young person, even when they are fighting against the horrors of cancer. Despite her own ill-health, Neville was a beacon of light in the life of Graham and was working his corner in his fight against mental health issues and depression.
The Sheffield legend is facing some more tough times, days when the words of family and friends are just that, they just float through the thick, dark fog of anger, confusion and grief, yet with a support system in place and a place in the heart of boxing fans throughout the country there is a reservoir of goodwill out there for Graham to draw strength from as he faces his toughest fight.
The thoughts of the Boxing News team and contributors are with the Neville and Graham families during this difficult time.